The storybook ending would give Mark Recchi the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head for a third and final time now that he’s decided to return to the Boston Bruins for what will probably be his last NHL season.
For the fantasy to become a reality, a lot of things have to fall into place for the current Bruins. One thing that’s certain, however, is that Recchi will be a driver and not a passenger on the road to a potential Cup win. As he showed during his short stint with the Bruins after last spring’s trade deadline, his Gatorade is obviously spiked with a drop or two from the Fountain of Youth because you could never tell he’s past 40 years of age based on how he competes.
Now just one of two Bruins with a Cup title to his now, Recchi will be a vital member not only of the Bruins’ lineup but their leadership hierarchy in the locker room.
Offseason tidbit: Recchi spent a lot of time playing with his kids over the summer and relaxing.
Position battle: The best-case scenario for the Bruins and for Recchi is that the team winds up being as deep as it projects and he’s able to limit his minutes to third-line duty and power-play time. A fixture on the first PP unit from the time he arrived in Boston, Recchi’s going to be tough to supplant. But he could wind up moving between left and right wing depending on how the rest of the lineup shakes out.
Projection: It’s not unrealistic to expect 20 goals from Recchi, who’ll score most of his goals on the man-advantage. And the Bruins are going to need every one of them to survive a post-Phil Kessel existence if it comes to that.